anime, manga, video games - blog, podcast, news, reviews, columns

Snapshot: Rich with Color, Deep in Shadow (Your Lie in April)

Topics: ,

The world of Your Lie in April promises one simple but very effective premise—a balance of color and lack thereof as measurement of an individual’s passion. According to the series, the surrounding world blossoms with color when viewed through the eyes of someone in love. Without that spark of infatuation—betrayed by a particular twinkle in the beholder’s eyes reflective of enchantment with something or someone—every garden, every mosaic, every sunset is but different depths of black and white. While the show doesn’t exploit this notion nearly enough, there are a series of images in Episode One worthy of pause and awe for their contrast and all that conveys.

Kousei Arima, trained from a very early age by his mother to be a classical pianist, is currently a fourteen-year-old in middle school. His father is currently away on business, and since Kousei’s mother passed away three years ago, the only accompaniment he has in the house is a piano that refuses to speak to him any longer. It’s a grand, dark thing that’s covered in dusty books in the same dim room which holds Saki’s memorial shrine. When Kousei comes home from school, he enters this not monotone but very cold, color temperature-muted room and says “I’m home.” By the way the shots are juxtaposed and the camera is positioned, it’s as if Kousei is addressing the piano.

Kousei hates the piano. He lost his ability to play at eleven years old, after his mother passed, and hasn’t played a piece since (save for checking the sound of select bits and bobs of pop song transcriptions he does for work). Mired in regret for not being able to fulfill his mother’s desire for him to reach the prominence of the European stage as her successor, Kousei clings to that grief as if it’s the only palpable essence his mother left behind. To him, life is a monotone existence. The physical scars from his mother's beatings might have healed, but her verbal abuse fills Kousei’s empty shell with an ugly, perpetually echoing resonance.

How ugly? First let’s consult the nature of the images the series uses to portray Kousei’s training as a young boy with mother. Saki keeps time with brusque shakes of her cane from her wheelchair. Kousei plays mechanically, his face hidden, at the piano bench with a booster box underneath the pedals so his feet can reach. A wide shot reveals Saki sitting behind Kousei in a position reminiscent of a carriage driver behind a horse. A pale, beaten child, colored but by cuts red with hurt and eyes blue with tears, forces a smile while looking up and clenching a leg of his shorts with his right fist as he promises to make his mother’s dream come true. An overbearing, larger-than-life upwards pan reveals Saki's legs, rigid in the wheelchair, and her cane thrust maliciously forward. And then there’s this.

Contrary to everything in the episode thus far, even the muted shrine/piano room, those few images just described are purely portrayed in monotone and shadow. Why? Because this world Kousei recollects, this time ingrained within his memory, is colorless … loveless. But at the same time, it’s all that Kousei seems to have known of his mother, so her wish and the steps she took to make them come true are all he has to cling to. This is why the ending shot of the “empty” wheelchair is so important. Did you notice? Isn’t that shadow a bit more than it should be? And doesn’t Saki’s ghastly shadow, coupled with the wheelchair's, resemble, if even only faintly … suggestively, a piano?


Your Lie in April is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Drunken Otaku: Takumi of Hida (Folktales from Japan)

Topics: , , , ,

Name: Takumi of Hida
Series: Folktales from Japan
Episode: 129 (The Box that Doesn’t Open)
Usual: Sake
Favorite Dive: His work tent
Type of Drunk: The Prestidigitator, The Vagrant, The Idiot Savant

A small, shrine-less village in-between two mountains wants to build a shrine, but no-one who lives there is capable of doing so. Rumors of a master craftsman, one who builds houses that never fall over no matter the storm’s strength, circulate among the proffered suggestions as to whom the village should contract. Thus the village headmaster leaves to retain the services of this famous architect, this Takumi of Hida. The villagers’ collective faith waivers, however, when the headmaster brings back a staggering, flush-faced, dancing drunkard.

Swearing off any offer for outside help and secluding himself beneath a gigantic work tent, Takumi gets to work after a brief rest from his journey and welcome feast prepared by the villagers. He starts by whittling dozens of little dolls from wood, who then end up doing all the shrine building for him as he snores through a series of sake-induced sleeps that last all atrocious Asuka- or heinous Heian-era workday long. The shrine gets completed in no time at all, the villagers celebrate, and Takumi of Hida wonders off — either back home or to the next village that will keep the sake flowing.

To those without any skill regarding architecture or woodworking, any inkling of competency can appear divine. So Takumi of Hida hides behind a tent whilst dolls imbued with the essence of the god in the wood from which they were carved do all the work, his efforts thus serving as a rabbit pulled by its ears out of an empty top hat, an eternal chain of handkerchiefs drawn from a 35 inch sleeve, a … you get the idea. The end effect is real, but the in-between is unseen. Therefore the shrine’s construction and strength are revered not just because of their timelessness but for the mystery inherent in the process behind its actualization. After all, Takumi of Hida is but a man for all his notoriety. How should he be capable of such marvels?

To comprehend “Takumi of Hida,” it must be first understood that the drunkard portrayed in this episode is a personification of a group of master woodworkers/builders/carpenters. The Hida region of Gifu Prefecture was originally a region poor in most resources but abundant with trees, its citizens—woodworkers, carpenters, and builders by trade—were regularly sent into the capital to offer their services. The skill for which they became known earned the laborers the collective title as “Hida no Takumi”1 or Hida’s Master Builders2. Due to demand, Hida’s talented masters were constantly on the move. Thus the rendering of one of the Hida no Takumi as a lush makes Takumi of Hida’s wanderings pure vagrancy.

Supposing God made man in his own image, let us consider this great drinker, Takumi of Hida, a reflection of said God. In so doing, we acknowledge that the entity known as God did not create the universe alone or firstly. Instead, this wanderer first molded helpers to manifest abstracts concocted from seeming omniscience. In this, God is both prestidigitator and savant to those created and, honestly, a little more realistic (read: human) for this delegation of effort and skill. So what’s wrong with knocking back a few and falling asleep with your head on a sake jug and a saucer at your feet, while trusted employees manipulated by divine essence carry out your bidding? As long as the shrine stands, nothing … nothing at all. Kanpai!


Folktales from Japan is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.


 

On the first Friday of every month (or occasionally on the hazy, hung-over Saturday directly following), Ani-Gamers blogger Ink tackles an anime, manga, or video game through the theme of alcohol in our column "Drunken Otaku." Look out for "Beer Googles" (reviews), "Great Drinkers" (character profiles), "Drinkin' Buddies" (interviews), and "Great Moments in Drinking" (more or less). To read previous entries, click here.

 

Review: Flowers of Evil Volume 11

The Final Bloom.

Topics: , ,

One day after school, Takao Kasuga steals the gym clothes of his crush, Nanako Saeki. Unbeknownst to him, he’s seen by his fellow classmate and outcast, Sawa Nakamura. What begins as Nakamura blackmailing Kasuga over his depraved act descends into a twisted love triangle that nearly destroys them all. Nakamura and Kasuga are separated from each other, and they begin new lives in new towns. Years later, Nakamura continues to cast a shadow over Kasuga’s life, particularly regarding his relationship with his current girlfriend, Aya Tokiwa. Kasuga eventually learns of Nakamura's whereabouts in a chance encounter, and in order to free himself of the shade of his past, Kasuga and Tokiwa seek her out…

We've followed Kasuga down into the abyss, watched him burn in the fires of teen angst, and seen him sift through the ashes to rebuild his life. Now we see him finally confront his past and his fears...with somewhat surprising results.

The fateful encounter between Kasuga, Nakamura, and Tokiwa has been building ever since the start of the second story arc, and all of the tension and emotion roiling under the surface of Kasuga and Tokiwa's relationship comes to a head when they finally meet Nakamura. Time has changed Nakamura more than either Saeki or even Kasuga. Saeki wasn’t able to move on from her past, succumbing to bitterness. Kasuga ran from his past, until Tokiwa convinced him otherwise. Nakamura copes with her past in a third way that is deeper than it appears. Gone are her trademark glasses and short, dyed hair. Also gone are the wild swings in emotion or behavior. As the end of volume 10 suggested, she seems to be at peace with herself...at least on the surface.




Kasuga's and Nakamura's long-anticipated reunion is both bittersweet and uncomfortably savage

Kasuga's and Nakamura's long-anticipated reunion is both bittersweet and uncomfortably savage, with Oshimi again displaying his rare talent for blending the beautiful and the profane in a single scene. In fact, there's a multi-page splash that follows a certain exchange between Nakamura, Tokiwa, and Kasuga that is perhaps the emotional peak of the entire series. I can't say too much without giving things away, but it's a powerful, somewhat twisted, even joyous moment. The climax of the series settles the remaining questions surrounding the relationship between Kasuga, Nakamura, and Tokiwa decisively, which I found to be big relief. I found the denouement to also be immensely satisfying and a fitting end to a story about the perils and turmoil of puberty and adolescence. The final chapter serves as a coda that displays Oshimi at his very best--surreal and visceral.

A fitting end to a story about the perils and turmoil of puberty and adolescence

While many found the style of the anime adaptation to be unappealing (I’m not one of them), I think one would be hard pressed to find fault with Oshimi’s art style in this (or any) volume of the manga. I especially love the way he draws eyes, which he imbues with a level of characterization rare in manga. I think he could draw a chapter that’s completely dark except for the eyes and I’d still be able to tell the characters apart.

I have been a fan of this series since I discovering it through last year’s anime and I’m sad to see it go, but all good things must eventually come to an end, lest they overstay their welcome. Fortunately, Flowers of Evil ends on a strong note.  At its dark heart, it is a powerful coming of age tale that takes you deep into the shadows of the adolescent soul and beyond to a place both expected and unpredictable--adulthood.

The Trap Door: I Put Coins In and Stupid Fell Out

Sword For Truth (1990)

Topics: , , ,

Sword For Truth DVD CoverYou invest yourself in a lot of media based on what you read or see beforehand. "Oh, this film will be great because my favorite actor is in it." "This game will be amazing because this studio made it." Now, if you’ve ever liked Johnny Depp, you know Dark Shadows isn’t his greatest film. Likewise, you're well aware that 343 Industries is responsible for Halo Wars. So your wishes for a film/book/game/TV show don’t amount to a hill of beans in this world. So it is with me and Sword For Truth, a samurai adventure in which nobody acts like a samurai except the ones who end up dead and there really isn’t much adventure. I need a drink.

It is the era of the Tokugawa shogunate in Japan. People vie for power and influence amid armies killing each other in the name of their lords. Too bad that, in this world, we’re stuck with the crappiest fight for a virgin princess and a sacred sword. I don’t know where to begin, so let’s just start at the beginning and go from there. Shuranosuke Sakaki is a wandering samurai who kills for money and not much else. Just as a giant white tiger attacks the Nakura clan and their princess comes under separate attack, Sakaki happens to wander by and takes it upon himself to kill the tiger. In the confusion, however, Princess Mayu disappears. So the Nakura clan hires Sakaki to get her back. After having sex with a random stranger who tried to rob him, Sakaki heads off and starts slaughtering the Seki Ninja who took Princess Mayu. Of course, finding her doesn't stop Sakaki. He continues slaughtering Seki Ninja after he gets the princess back. If it sounds like I’m shortening the hell out of the movie, that’s because I am.

Sword For Truth 1

There is no known way for me to adequately prepare you for how crap everything looks.

This film is the pits. I thought The Humanoid was bad. I thought Garaga was boring. I slept through Zeorymer. Sword For Truth features action that amounts to five frame panels and speed lines. I am not joking. The animation (and I’m insulting the medium by calling it that) for the Nakura clan charging at their enemies … is the same pan and speed lines. I couldn’t believe that someone had OK’d this as proper. It’s like they saw Fist of the North Star and said, “Yeah, we can do that, but we’ll use samurai!” When characters die, the animation shows them being cut in half … a whole lot. Plus entrails. Got to have entrails. The bloody tiger jumps in size from the length of a pagoda roof to the size of a large tank to normal—all in the same scene. All the character models are wild and varied, but, hey … wait a minute, every ninja and samurai has the same eyes. I’m not kidding you; they just copied and pasted the eyes. The only difference is when they get killed. THEN we see detail. When guns fire at the tiger, it’s a still drawing of a gun firing with the SFX of said weapon repeated over and over again. There is no known way for me to adequately prepare you for how crap everything looks. Think of all the amazing, dynamic scenes from Ninja Scroll. Now think of the scenes in Ninja Scroll where people were just walking. That’s what Sword looks like.  Sakaki goes through his trials at night. (What is with crappy anime and setting it at night!?) This means that while it might sound amazing that he kills people after we get to see him hate-screw the pickpocket (she tries to kill him mid intercourse, but he just loves her up until she cracks), it’s the murky, shadowy world of … oh god, I can’t keep talking about the animation. I might come back to it. Let’s move on.

Sword For Truth 2

The characters do things that make no sense. After finding out that he is a complete badass-supercop-samurai, the idea that Sakaki would wander into the attack on the Nakura compound by accident is bullshit. Yet every time he’s attacked or looks like he’ll be attacked, Sakaki’s always one step ahead of the game. So why does he take the job to begin with? He seems to know that he’ll be killed when he brings the Princess back, so why not let the clan get wiped out? Regarding the Nakura clan's chief retainer who hires Sakaki: if he couldn’t kill the tiger that wiped out his clan but Sakaki could, what makes the lieutenant think he’ll be able to kill Sakaki upon his return? Ugh. Princess Mayu. Ok, she's an interesting one. With our narrator gravely intoning, we watch as Mayu is pumped with opium and then loved up by a female Seki Ninja. They have sex until her mind breaks. (Really, Japan, you have to stop with this notion.) After this, Mayu agrees to help them get the Ginryu sword that belongs to the Nakura clan. Then, when she is being handed over to Sakaki in exchange for the sword, she doesn’t try to betray him at all. So what was the point of the lesbian mind break scene? Oh, I give up. Again, we go back to the chief retainer of the Nakura clan. He wants to protect the princess with his very life, but his retainers keep stopping him. Shame, because if he had thrown his life away, his men would run away and not stayed around to get ordered into battle against a furry killing machine. Okay. Oren, the pickpocket who tries to rob Sakaki and who loses her clothes in the process, is written as a quick bang and then never comes back. Sorry for being crude, but there you are. She tries to kill him because any man who would sleep with her must be cold hearted and therefore must die. What? She isn’t seen after this but, wow, what character development. There's also Dogen, leader of the Seki Ninja. He's a big man with a talent for survival who gets stabbed in the neck and a lot of other places. He likes to talk, which isn’t really a good trait for a ninja master (but there you go). There's also a government official and a professional assassin disguised as a messenger called Marouji. They engage in playful banter, until the official notices who "Marouji" really is. When they fight, the official is killed. I swear that this exchange is more skilled and even-tempered than any other scene in the film. It also has no bearing at all on the film’s “plot.” What the hell?!?

Sword For Truth 3

This wasn’t an exciting story, this was an excuse to sink someone’s tax write-off into an anime project.

The film plays out like a undercooked trial by fire for Sakaki, who fights ninja, trained killers, the Creature From The Black Lagoon (not joking), a dead Seki female ninja, and then the whole of the Nakura clan. He never breaks a sweat, never looks worried, and gives some pithy remarks on the nature of existence and how much of a bastard he is. I knew he would survive the film after seeing him for two seconds. This wasn’t an exciting story, this was an excuse to sink someone’s tax write-off into an anime project. As I watched it, the other members of my audience stared on in silence. They kept waiting for something to happen other than what they saw and had a permanent scowl on their face. I suspect I might have had one too, but I know I have one on my face right now. Nothing in the plot looked even remotely exciting. I knew the princess would try and fall in love with our amazing swordfighter, the Seki Ninja were going to be mustache twirling monologuers, and Sakaki would eventually just walk off into the distance. I wish I had beaten him to it and run for the hills.

Sword For Truth 4

I swear to Jesus and all that's holy, the animation in this defies explanation. Men are shown running somewhere and speed in indicated by a triple dissolve zoom out. Want proof? The second image in the second lot of images in the review is the proof. When people talks, their lips move but nothing else does. Well, maybe an eyebrow. When people get stabbed, blood sprays out in areas that weren't even stabbed at! The blood seems to pass behind Sakaki and in front of him while this goes on. Look above at the third last image for the evidence. The only way this kind of painful animation could be improved is if they turned it into something like Inferno Cop, which, I hasten to add, is a better use of your time. There it's done for laughs. Here in Sword, it's just a joke. People change size all the time except the lead character. So Dogen looks seven feet tall in one shot, and in another, he looks thirteen or fourteen feet tall. Don't get me started again on that human munching moggie. Let's just call it Battle Cat and be done with it.

Sword For Truth 5 

I wish I had beaten Sakaki to it and run for the hills.

I don’t have the Japanese dub on the disc I own, but the English dub is pure pain. Nobody, especially the actress playing Oren, can say Sakaki’s name properly. They keep saying Sa-khaki … as in the color. Princess Mayu is called May-Yu instead of Mai-yu or Mi-yu. Every actor sounds … like … they … ARE … reading … their … LINES … like … William … Shat-NER! and nobody tries to sound in the least bit excited. Again, the most stunning moment comes between the official and Marouji as everything slows to a crawl and offers up some amazing dialog … which doesn’t even impact the main story. I am informed that this was supposed to be a TV series and that Sword For Truth is the pilot. If that’s the case, with all the gore, decapitations, soft core sex and lesbianism, violence, and nudity, I want to see the channel that was going to pick this up. From its terrifying animation techniques to its crappy lines and its pointless ending, Sword For Truth is not getting out of the Trap Door at all and will now be killed with fire. Don’t watch this unless you genuinely hate yourself.

KITE vs. KITE

The nurtured natures of revenge

Topics: , , ,

Spoiler Warning: The following feature compares and contrasts various aspects of the 1998 anime and the 2014 live action film. Spoilers regarding both will be abundant.


Despite all the anime titles fans actually want to see get live action adaptations, we get KITE. Actually that does make a good deal of sense. Yasuomi Umetsu’s 1998 OVA focuses on a corrupt cop carrying out his hypocritical vigilantism via two youths he “adopts” and trains for use as his own gloved gun hands. Since the story takes place in a pretty normal city spiced up but by relatively simple pyrotechnics and gore, the budget would be much more producer-friendly than something like Cowboy Bebop. Also, the action-packed and bloody nature of KITE seems a no-brainer pitch to excitement-seeking theater-goers. However, since certain story elements in the anime were either production-, marketing-, or audience-unfriendly, the live action film does a few things differently.

An English professor I once had stated, in so many words, that using a direct quote from someone else to initiate or conclude a personal statement is an admission of one’s own failure to make a good argument. As if taking his advice, Ziman’s KITE leads off lightly by revealing one of its main characters and a little bit of the neglected downtown (Johannesburg, South Africa) setting. Only after is the audience treated to a relatively faithful reproduction of the elevator scene familiar to fans of the anime. Everything that follows thereafter is more akin to a parallel word rather than a replication, and there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation as to why.

The anime runs approximately 45 minutes, which many would consider far too short for a theatrical presentation, and it’s not like the additional 15 minutes of explicit sex in the director’s cut add much more substance from which the live action film could draw. In the anime, the story mostly focuses on the tensions between and actions of the main characters: Sawa, Akai, and Oburi. Since the world in which these three live, kill, and die is more or less relegated to the status of a relatable backdrop, Brian Cox set about adding some color and depth to his KITE script by flushing out the city’s story and thereby defining the context of its inhabitants’ lives. Naturally, this leads to some big differences between the anime and the live-action film.

In his script, Cox originally sought to carry over the emotional tension established by the anime (without actually building any) to complement his more characterized world. This is a tough thing to do, however, especially when Cox renames Sawa’s “handler” (Akai becomes Karl Aker), completely changes the nature of Oburi’s relationship with Sawa, and turns Sawa into someone who actively forgets instead of actively remembers. A name change is one thing, but the other two decisions carry massive ramifications.

In the anime, Oburi was unaware of Sawa and vice-versa until they unwittingly carry out a job together. As they discover some semblance of normality by getting to know each other away from the office, an intimacy forms. Oburi turns out to be a recruited assassin, just like Sawa, who also considers Akai his guardian and employer. This shared, unsavory relationship lends massive weight to Sawa revealing something as personal as the meaning of her name (sand you wouldn’t hold, feather in the wind) to Oburi. After becoming closer, they end up helping each other out of binds a couple of times, promoting an air of equality. This stands in stark contrast to the movie, where Oburi, who is now a childhood friend, shadows Sawa on his own in order to come to her aid in moments where she gets in over her head. This relationship is weighted to one side and in Oburi’s favor. Sawa’s no longer capable; she’s someone who needs saving. The kicker? Sawa doesn’t reveal her name to Oburi in the live action movie; she reveals it to the emir (the villain behind the flesh trade) … for no particular reason and no effect whatsoever.

The film uses the erasure of memories for manipulation.

In the live action KITE, Sawa doesn’t remember Oburi’s childhood friendship (or her parents’ deaths), because she’s constantly taking a memory erasing drug supplied by Aker. Thus the film uses the erasure of memories for manipulation. Visually, this is represented by Sawa’s longer hair that constantly obscures the earrings featured so prominently in the anime. Unfortunately, not much is made of the earrings until more than halfway through the movie, so there’s no real emotional attachment or investment stemming from the fact that they’re made from pieces of a chandelier broken on the night of the murder of Sawa’s parents. The anime uses reminders of memory as manipulation. This is accomplished mainly through the earrings, which are filled with the blood of Sawa’s parents (one from mommy and one from daddy) and always feature prominently due to Sawa’s short hair. Aside from visual reminders, the earrings serve as the motivation that makes Sawa cross the line from innocent to assassin. (Akai was threatening to destroy the earrings he made for her if Sawa did not carry out a test execution.)

In part, this is a wonderful way of seeing how Sawa’s revenge plot is consequently linked more tightly to the mechanics of the world rather than the drama between the main characters. Since Sawa initially bears no grudge against Aker, her puppeteered actions strike against the harsh reality of the world in which she lives — namely the flesh trade (gangs abducting youths and selling them to cartels who sell them to The Emir who sells them for shipment to be “enjoyed” elsewhere). And while the selling of flesh is new to KITE, the abduction and abuse thereof is not. The anime sets up Sawa’s relationship with Akai as one of suffering via mental and physical abuse. Sawa’s never forgotten just who took her in and (for whatever reason) bides her time lying in wait for her chance to strike back. The only insight into the world around them is that Sawa’s often sent on missions to kill those who abduct/abuse children. Since this is reflective of her own situation and really only speaks only to actions between characters and not the surrounding world, the anime is pure interpersonal drama.

In the same sense, environment affects how live-action Sawa acts while on missions. Since she has to be told about Aker’s involvement in her parents’ case and thus does not initially carry her anime counterpart’s hurt and rage regarding Akai, Sawa somewhat freely lashes out at the world Aker tells her to blame for her parents’ deaths and looks upon Aker’s apartment as a safe house. In the anime, every assassination job is handed down personally by Akai or his partner, and Sawa never goes beyond carrying out those instructions. There are no clues to find, because there’s no mystery. Sawa carries out only that job (unless complications arise) and usually returns at her leisure but only to get paid; staying longer has certain … consequences. It’s a cold business made even colder by the hovering history and associated abuse.

Who the bigger abuser is, between Akai and Aker, is definitely debatable. On the anime side of things, Akai is a child rapist, a cold-blooded murderer, and a corrupt cop. He also lies to Sawa about looking for those responsible for the murder of her parents. Aker is also a corrupt cop; commands (or at least holds sway with) one of the nastiest gangs in the area, flesh-reapers called the Numbers; and gets Sawa addicted to a memory-erasing drug. Then he passive-aggressively makes Sawa feel ashamed for using, while he uses her synthetic amnesia to have her kill off the scum of the city as his vicarious vigilante. True, Akai’s obviously the bigger scumbag, but the subtlety of the portrayal of Aker’s perverted sense of justice and manipulation of Sawa is a close second.

Live-action Sawa leaves witnesses all over the place. Animated Sawa, on the other hand, hardly ever leaves a witness standing.

Regarding the other characters, there are some fun differences. Take anime Oburi: he uses explosives during missions to create distractions so he can take out his target without being noticed. Live action Oburi also uses explosives to create distractions. But since this Oburi is not an assassin, he mainly uses said distractions to help Sawa out of jams or sneak in/out of dangerous places. Speaking of, Sawa is not quite her animated self in the live action film. I mean India Eisley (live-action Sawa) looks a lot like anime, but her voice actor sure needs some coaching concerning the delivery of those witty just-before-I-shoot-you lines. There’s also the issue of her survivor ratio. Live-action Sawa leaves witnesses all over the place. This leads to suspicions about Aker, who punishes Sawa with a little lecture and guilt. Animated Sawa, on the other hand, hardly ever leaves a witness standing. If she does, there are beatings and worse in store.

As for the actual visuals in both, I’ve no complaints. The use of the lines (bars, building edges, taut wires, signs) in shots as well as the play between light and shadow are only enhanced in the live action film. And as for music, while there isn’t as much of it in the anime, the live action spices action scenes up a bit with what I’m probably wrong in calling fuzzy techno/rock. Paying homage to the anime, at least the live action film still manages to work in the inappropriately smooth sounds of some soft alto and soprano sax.


So those were all the differences and similarities, but how did they work as a film? To find that out, read Ink's full review of KITE (2014) on The Fandom Post.